I am disheartened by the recommendation to cut service to the Charm City Circulator, especially the elimination of the Banner Route. The Circulator has been a shining example of how public transportation should work with reliable, safe, and clean service. It has been wildly successful and has converted many car-reliant residents into regular Circulator riders.
While I firmly believe that eliminating these routes is short-sighted, I recognize the budget constraints and the lack of support in increasing the parking tax to fully fund the Circulator’s operations. Given that the system was to be funded on parking taxes and not on general funds, it is clear that either new funding source needs to be identified if parking tax rates cannot be increased.
As was the case last time severe cuts were proposed to the Circulator system, I will continue to work with the Administration, the City Council, and our State partners to identify funds to restore full operations. Auditing existing DOT services may also yield savings that could be used to restore Circulator services. In the end, I believe this system is valuable and necessary for the City’s continued growth. Absent an effective Maryland Transit Administration network, Baltimore needs to continue to find creative ways to move people throughout the city without relying on personal vehicles.
The press release from DOT is appended below:
Contact: Adrienne Barnes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Department of Transportation Announces Proposed Changes to the Charm City Circulator
The Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced today that proposed changes will be made to the Charm City Circulator program in an effort to address budgetary constraints. With these proposals, Circulator operations will be restructured while continuing to serve passengers and mitigate traffic in the downtown area.
Adjustments to the program include:
- Elimination of the Banner Route in its entirety
- Elimination of the Green Route in its entirety
- Elimination of the Purple Route Northern Extension from Penn Station to 33rd Street
The proposed changes are expected to take effect in January, 2017. Several public informational sessions will be held at various city locations and notices will be publicized well in advance. Interested persons are encouraged to attend and provide comments on the proposed changes.
The comment period is open now through midnight on October 31, 2016. Citizens may mail or email comments to the Department of Transportation, 417 E. Fayette Street, Room 559, Baltimore, MD 21202 or to email@example.com (with CCC Proposed Changes as the subject).
Please visit www.charmcitycirculator.com and www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/AgenciesDepartments/Transportation.aspx for updates on meeting dates, times and locations.